Latest News from 88 Pianists - 13th January 2020

Latest news from 88 Pianists

  • A new film from the 88 Pianists team shows how this record-breaking project was delivered
  • Wider climate change work heavily influenced by the collective imagination and determination of children
  • 88 Pianists photograph wins prestigious photography award
  • Next project begins development

Five months after 88 Pianists smashed the existing world record and became a social media viral sensation across the world, our latest film, The Story of 88 Pianists has dropped on our homepage! See the mechanisms come to life the weekend before the performance, look at some of the inventions close up, and watch interviews with creator Professor Julian Allwood, Project Partner Professor Julian Lloyd Webber, Composer Martin Riley and participants of the project about the creation, delivery and legacy of 88 Pianists.

Reflecting on the project, our academics and musicians have been profoundly impacted by their involvement. In particular, our wider climate change work and the increasingly loud global conversation about climate change have become intertwined. The children involved in this project demonstrated a level of creativity and imagination that, if we can bring to our climate mitigation work, would truly allow us to find a zero carbon future without making sacrifices – and the journey could be just as joyful as 88 Pianists. Our latest report, Absolute Zero, on mapping the road to net zero can be found at

In other news, our Design and Multimedia Producer Fran O’Neill Sergent has won a prestigious photography award for one of the photos she took at the event. The photo depicts several of the brilliant designs during the building stage and won the Head of Department Award at Cambridge University’s Zeiss Photography Competition. The competition has received wide national and international coverage in the press.

She said: “I'm incredibly proud to have played a creative role in delivering this project. I believe it has changed the way many of us approach our work. Specifically, we realised that adults are often confined by what we believe is sensible or possible - and when we looked at the designs the children submitted, we assumed they could not possibly work. But we were wrong. This photograph was taken on 17th August during the 12 hours in which 40 engineers assembled the 88 inventions around the grand piano at the ICC Birmingham. It is merely a tiny snapshot of the incredible number of stories being told on that stage. On 19th August 2019, the world record for number of people playing the same piano at the same time was smashed by 88 Pianists, 40 engineers and 2,500 primary school designers. All I did was point a camera at it, and therefore credit and thanks go to the thousands of creative children and adults involved.”

And finally – brainstorming has begun on our next national STEM arts engagement project! More soon…